Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Ten Hawks selected to play in Olympics
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks had 10 players selected to play for their respective countries in the upcoming Olympics in Sochi.
Forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp and defenseman Duncan Keith were named to Canada's team on Tuesday. Toews and Keith played in the Olympics in 2010. Sharp has not previously played in the Olympics.
"I think most of all it’s great to see how many world-class players we have in our room," Toews said after practice on Tuesday. "You even look at some of the guys that won’t be going to the Olympics that definitely deserved to be and do have that type of talent. You can think of guys like [Brent Seabrook] and [Corey Crawford] and a few other guys as well. To have 10 guys in our room, I think is pretty special. It goes to show why we’re such a good team."
Keith said, "I’m excited. Obviously a huge honor. That gets said a lot, but it really is. You look at all the people who play hockey in Canada, to represent the country is very special."
Forward Marcus Kruger and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya were named to Sweden's team on Tuesday. Oduya played in the Olympics in 2010. Kruger and Hjalmarsson have not previously played in the Olympics.
"Olympics is something you've always seen on TV and stuff and you always wonder how that's going to be," Kruger said. "For me, being the first time going there is going to be exciting. And see the other athletes and everything else is going to be a lot of fun."
Forwards Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus were named to Slovakia's team on Tuesday. Hossa and Handzus have each played in three previous Olympics.
"It's a great experience, it's a lot of fun playing for your country in the best tournament in the world," Handzus said. "You cannot ask for any better. Just enjoy it. I had a lot of fun in Vancouver. We had a good team. We had a lot of fun in the locker room, a lot of fun in the games, just enjoyed it. It's one of four years for me probably the last one, for a lot of guys maybe they get in a couple more, just enjoy it when you get back there.
Defenseman Michal Rozsival was named to the Czech Republic's team on Monday. He has not previously participated in the Olympics.
“I found out when they announced it," Rozsival said. "They had a press conference back home. It was 7 o’clock our time in Chicago, so that’s when I found out. I wasn’t watching it. My wife and my kids were watching it and they just kind of came to tell me that I was selected. That was exciting.”
Forward Patrick Kane was named to the USA's team on Jan. 1. He was one of six Blackhawks to participate in the Olympics in 2010.